A03724 Summary:

BILL NOA03724
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORRosenthal L
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add §256, Dom Rel L; add §382, Ag & Mkts L
 
Allows a court to determine legal ownership of a companion animal, taking into consideration the well-being of the companion animal, during proceedings for dissolution of marriage, legal separation and proceedings commenced by individuals who have both resided with the companion animal.
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A03724 Actions:

BILL NOA03724
 
01/28/2021referred to judiciary
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A03724 Committee Votes:

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A03724 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A03724 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A3724
 
SPONSOR: Rosenthal L
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the domestic relations law and the agriculture and markets law, in relation to providing for the legal ownership of a companion animal   PURPOSE: This bill will require courts to consider the best interest of a compan- ion animal when deciding legal ownership following the dissolution of a marriage or legal separation of parties.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one amends the domestic relations law by adding a new section 256. Section two amends the agriculture and markets law by adding a new section 382. Section three establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: In cases of divorce or legal separation, courts must approve a custody agreement that is in the best interest of any children involved, in addition to splitting up shared property. Arrangements involving chil- dren, including decisions regarding shared custody, visitation, and alimony, are always made with the children in mind to ensure the best possible outcome. Until recently, many courts have decided the custody of pets in the same way as they would decide ownership of property, taking into consider- ation who purchased the property and awarding it to one person only. However, there is an emerging trend in which the parties are each seek- ing custody or even pursuing a shared custody arrangement, especially in cases involving dogs. For many people, pets are members of the family. In the United States, nearly 40% of households have a dog and about 25% of households have a cat. Studies have found that Americans spent more than $95 billion on their pets in 2019. Disputes over custody of pets during a divorce or other legal separation of parties will continue to arise. It is important that the courts consider the best interest of the animal, regardless of ownership, when resolving disputes arising over custody.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2019-20: A.10333 - Referred to Judiciary   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A03724 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          3724
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 28, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. L. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Judiciary
 
        AN ACT to amend the domestic  relations  law  and  the  agriculture  and
          markets  law,  in  relation  to providing for the legal ownership of a
          companion animal
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The  domestic  relations  law  is amended by adding a new
     2  section 256 to read as follows:
     3    § 256. Order to care for companion animal pending final determination;
     4  assignment of sole or joint ownership. 1. Notwithstanding any other  law
     5  to the contrary, the court, at the request of a party to proceedings for
     6  dissolution  of  marriage  or  for  legal separation of the parties, may
     7  enter an order prior to  the  final  determination  of  ownership  of  a
     8  companion  animal  to  require  a party to care for the companion animal
     9  taking into consideration the well-being of such companion  animal.  The
    10  existence  of  an  order  providing  for  the care of a companion animal
    11  during the course of proceedings  shall  not  have  any  impact  on  the
    12  court's final determination of ownership of the companion animal.
    13    2. Notwithstanding any other law, the court, at the request of a party
    14  to  proceedings  for  dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of
    15  the parties, may assign sole or joint ownership of the companion  animal
    16  taking into consideration the well-being of the companion animal.
    17    3.  "Companion  animal,"  as used in this section, shall have the same
    18  meaning as in subdivision five of section three  hundred  fifty  of  the
    19  agriculture and markets law.
    20    §  2.  The  agriculture  and  markets  law  is amended by adding a new
    21  section 382 to read as follows:
    22    § 382. Order to care for companion animal pending final determination.
    23  1. Notwithstanding any other law to  the  contrary,  in  any  proceeding
    24  wherein  at  issue is ownership of a companion animal who currently does
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00989-01-1

        A. 3724                             2
 
     1  or has resided with parties to the lawsuit, the court may enter an order
     2  prior to the final determination of ownership of a companion  animal  to
     3  require  a  party to care for the companion animal taking into consider-
     4  ation the well-being of such companion animal. The existence of an order
     5  providing  for  the  care  of  a  companion  animal during the course of
     6  proceedings shall not have any impact on the court's final determination
     7  of ownership of such companion animal.
     8    2. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary,  in  any  proceeding
     9  wherein  at  issue is ownership of a companion animal who currently does
    10  or has resided with parties to the lawsuit, the court may assign sole or
    11  joint ownership of the companion animal taking  into  consideration  the
    12  well-being of such companion animal.
    13    3.  "Companion  animal"  as  used  in this section shall have the same
    14  meaning as provided in subdivision five of section three  hundred  fifty
    15  of this article.
    16    §  3.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
    17  have become a law.
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